Rugby World Cup, Euro 2016 football: Ireland can clinch dream double says Sunderland & Republic striker Stephanie Roche

Stephanie Roche (left)  in action for Sunderland. Picture by TOM COLLINS

Stephanie Roche (left) in action for Sunderland. Picture by TOM COLLINS

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One of Ireland’s sporting darlings is hoping for success for her country on the football AND rugby fields.

Stephanie Roche found fame as the first female finalist in the 2014 FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year and has won multiple Republic of Ireland caps.

Looking at those teams we can get in the play-offs, I believe we are well capable of beating any of the four

STEPHANIE ROCHE

Now, she believes there could be glory for Ireland’s men and says Martin O’Neill’s side can get the better of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ukraine, Sweden or Hungary in the Euro 2016 play-offs and reach the finals in France.

“Everyone in Ireland was in dreamland after the win over Germany,” said the 26-year-old.

“It was disappointing we then went and lost in Poland.

“But looking at those teams we can get in the play-offs, I believe we are well capable of beating any of the four.

“The draw is Sunday morning and I’m looking forward to seeing who we get.”

And Roche, who is in the Irish female squad for the up-coming Euro 2017 women’s championship qualifier against Portugal, is excited for the entire weekend with Ireland playing Argentina in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Cardiff on Sunday.

“I was home last weekend after my sister had a baby,” said the Sunderland attacking midfielder, from Shankhill.

“Sunday was unbelievable, the rugby team beating France and the football team playing in Poland.

“We didn’t win but beating Germany was fantastic and gives us such great belief.

“It would be great if we could win the Rugby World Cup and for the football team to qualify for the finals and we can look forward to France 2016.”